Vow to Wow: Speaking in Public

By Katie Marsh

When it comes to fears, public speaking is one of the most common. In 2014, The Chapman Survey on American Fears reported that fear of public speaking ranked 5th on the overall list, behind walking alone at night, being a victim of identity theft, Internet crimes and being the victim of a mass shooting.

That’s a serious fear there to be ranked right behind mass murder! Reasons for the fear include self-consciousness about being in front of a group of people and being judged, fear that their nervousness will be evident and a significant chunk of the fear comes from feeling unprepared.

118---Maybe---Speaking-people-RESIZED“Many people procrastinate the things that they don’t want to do,” said Owner Denise Heidel. “And as public speaking is a common fear, many people wait until the last minute to prepare their speeches. Then, they find themselves worried about their choice of words and fear they may end up rambling.”

Vow To Be Different is a company designed to take the fear out of public speaking by making sure that the speakers are prepared and confident in their messages. While the company began for couples looking for help to write their personalized wedding vows, the team has also helped prepared toasts as well as presentations for business meetings.

“I recently had to give a presentation and asked Vow To Be Different for assistance,” said Forsyth Woman Publisher Keela Johnson. “I sent the description of the meeting, we talked for a few minutes and, within a day, I had a speech with text arranged in a way that would enable me to talk freely from notes without feeling like I would lose my place if I looked up. She also timed the speech for me within the allotted time frame!”

Christina Johnson of Christina’s Dessertery has also used Vow To Be Different. “I don’t mind speaking in public as much as I worry about getting my message conveyed accurately and succinctly,” said Christina. “Denise listened to my needs and quickly organized a script for me.”

“Everyone’s needs are different,” said Denise. “We pride ourselves on creating unique speeches, toasts and vows that are unique to the speaker. We’re not giving a cookie-cutter script. Our job involves active listening; we ask a lot of questions. We aren’t looking for answers to translate into our own words but to use those answers to construct a speech, toast or vows – whatever we’re writing – sound as though they are directly from the speaker. Because ultimately, they are.”

Heidi Gaines is another client. “Denise has written several speeches for me – a maid of honor toast and, next year, she will be working with my daughter and her fiancé on customized wedding vows,” said Heidi. “I have even sent her requests to help word ‘thank you’ cards and invitations!”

“While I can’t address the fear of judgment or standing in front of a lot of people, I can at least help the speaker feel confident in his or her words,” said Denise. “That’s half the battle for overcoming the other components of fear.”


When you’re in need of the perfect words, Vow To Be Different is a great place to start. Contact Denise Heidel at 336.413.7610 or VowToBeDifferentNC@gmail.com. 10% of all proceeds are donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in memory of Robert T. Henderson.